Dr. Paul Osteen, brother of megachurch pastor Joel Osteen, is hoping to inspire medical missionaries during Lakewood Church’s upcoming Global Medical Missions Conference (also known as the M3 Conference).
“You don’t have to look far to see that there are people in need all over the world,” Dr. Paul Osteen, a surgeon who spends about four months a year serving in missions hospitals across the globe, told The Christian Post.
“Because of the overwhelming needs around us, one can easily wonder how they can make a real difference. I urge people to pray about how God can use them to be a part of the solution to help these people."
He and his wife, Jennifer, will be bringing together doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to Houston on Feb. 21-22 for their fifth annual M3 conference. They are opening the doors to anyone who has an interest in learning more about global healthcare needs.
When discussing his intent for the conference, Osteen said he “hopes attendees will learn how much of a difference they can truly make when they see the need and choose to help in some way.”
The theme of this year's conference is centered on the question “Can you see it?” which is inspired by the scripture John 4. In that verse, Jesus said, “Open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you…”
Lamenting the state of poverty and conflict across the globe, Osteen noted, “Every day, 830 mothers in low-resource communities die of childbirth-related issues. Right now, 74 million people are displaced or refugees. There are 420 million children living in war zones. Half of the world’s population lacks access to basic medical care.
"And 2 billion people have no access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what, as John writes, is right in front of us. It’s easy to look past these statistics and complicated issues, but our encouragement at the M3 Conference this year is to, instead, bring them into sharp focus."
The event will feature over 30 experts, who will share their expertise and experience in global health, including medical, dental, surgical missions, WaSH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene), disaster relief, orphan care, human trafficking, advocacy and nutrition.
More than 75 global missions organizations are expected to participate in the conference, including Samaritan’s Purse, which will provide tours of its Ebola Treatment Center, and other groups that offer both short-term and long-term opportunities to serve either locally or abroad.
Houston is home to the world’s largest medical center and Osteen and the Lakewood team hope to ignite a passion in medical professionals to use their service for God.
In a past interview, Osteen explained the inspiration behind the conference.
"A Zambian doctor told me, 'Paul, do you realize that you are the only qualified surgeon in an area the size of Louisiana.' Two weeks later, I flew into Houston and realized that there are 12,500 doctors in Houston alone," Osteen said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to say, 'What would happen if we tried to help this disparity? Let's connect some needs with some people who have a heart to help.'"